Second-Half Comeback Lifts Holy Cross Past Women's Basketball, 73-68

Second-Half Comeback Lifts Holy Cross Past Women's Basketball, 73-68

Clark led the Crimson with 17 points, five rebounds and two assists (Gil Talbot).

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Harvard women's basketball team held a 13-point second-half lead but was unable to hold on down the stretch as Holy Cross battled back for a 73-68 win Sunday at Lavietes Pavilion.

Christine Clark scored 17 points to lead the Crimson (1-4), hitting 8-of-12 attempts from the floor while adding five rebounds, two assists and two steals to her stat line. Victoria Lippert notched 10 points as Miriam Rutzen and Missy Mullins each tallied nine. Brogan Berry grabbed a game-high eight rebounds and dished out four assists.

Harvard shot 45.5 percent for the game and outrebounded the Crusaders (3-3) 40-28, but Holy Cross turned 13 Crimson turnovers into 24 points and was a perfect 11-of-11 at the line to secure the victory. Four Crusaders finished in double-digits led by Alex Smith's 22.

Lippert buried a three from the left corner to begin the game but Holy Cross answered by hitting five of its first six shots to take an 11-3 lead. Clark ended the run with a jumper in the lane then connected on a three of her own the next trip down the court to make it an 11-8 game. Clark pulled the Crimson to within one, 13-12, before Rutzen's jumper with 11:53 to play made it 14-13 in Harvard's favor.

The Crusaders regained an 18-14 advantage on Smith's three as the teams traded the lead 10 times in the half. Trailing 31-27 with 2:09 to play, the Crimson closed the half on an 8-0 run to take a 35-31 margin into the locker room. Emma Golen began the stretch with a jumper and was followed by Berry's three in transition to push the score to 32-31. Elle Hagedorn capped the surge off with a three from the left corner as time expired.

The Crimson combined to shoot 48.4 percent before the break led by Clark's nine points on 4-of-6 shooting. Hagedorn and Mullins posted six points and four points, respectively, to help Harvard to a 12-0 advantage in bench points. Smith paced the Crusader's scoring efforts with 10 points and five assists.

Harvard opened the second half on a 12-5 run and took its first double-digit lead of the game off a Mullins three, 47-36. A Hagedorn layup gave the Crimson its largest margin of the day, 49-36, but a 16-6 run cut Holy Cross' deficit to three, 55-52, with 8:18 to play. The Crusaders regained a 58-57 lead off Amy Lepley's three one minute later and went ahead for good on a Malone jumper, 62-60, with 5:30 on the clock.

Holy Cross was up by as many as five points with under two minutes remaining but a basket by Clark and a drive by Berry pulled the Crimson to within one, 69-68, with 24 seconds to play. The Crusaders were a perfect 4-of-4 at the line down the stretch, however, to hold on for the 73-68 victory.

Harvard returns to the court Wednesday, Nov. 30 against Boston University at Lavietes Pavilion at 7 p.m. Fans who can't make it to Cambridge for Wednesday's game can watch all of the action live through by clicking here.

GAME NOTES: Christine Clark has scored in double-digits each game this season and has led the team in scoring three times … Brogan Berry has led the team in assists all five games this year … The Crimson has outrebounded opponents in four of five games … Harvard falls to 31-7 in Lavietes Pavilion since 2008-09.